• Dec 12th 2008 at 9:54AM
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9:30 AM EST has come and gone and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has officially begun its trading day. As expected, the index dropped sharply after the opening bell, which was rung today by singer/actress Mandy Moore. Ms. Moore watched as before sound waves from the bell hit the other side of the room, the Dow had fallen from 8,565 points to 8,348, or about 217 points. At the moment it's back up above 8,400 points, but who knows where we'll go from there.

We've been watching cable news all morning, and it was revealed about 20 minutes before the Dow opened today that the White House was reconsidering its stance against tapping the Troubled Asset Relief Fund for troubled U.S. automakers. While we haven't heard anything official from the administration yet, pundits say it does have the power to redistribute some of the $700 billion earmarked for financial institutions to aid automakers. Before the Senate shot down an Auto Rescue/Bailout Bill last night, the White House had refused to consider tapping TARP to save General Motors and Chrysler from imminent bankruptcy. Now it seems all three automakers could file for Chapter 11 before Bush leaves office in January unless the administration acts quickly.

UPDATE: Of the $350 billion available in the first round of TARP fund distribution, $335 billion has already been handed out to financial institutions. That conveniently leaves about $15 billion, which is almost exactly the amount General Motors and Chrysler require to stave off immediate bankruptcy. Still no official word from the White House, other than that it's reconsidering the use of TARP money to aid automakers after the Senate's failure to pass a rescue/bailout bill last night.

[Source: AOL Money and Finance, MSNBC]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ohh GOD, today is gonna be one hell of a day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes, when it was announced last night the bill had failed, the then still open Nikkei dropped 6% instantly. Yes, global financial armeggedon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hear that Big Sucking Sound?

      That's GM, Ford and Chrysler leaving town for good. Goodbye UAW. Goodbye American auto parts suppliers. Goodbye Chrysler, Ford and GM dealers. You're on your own now. Outsourcing is becoming the wave of the future. I hope Obama can find another 3 million jobs to fill next month.

      GMs operations in Korea, China, Australia, Canada and Europe will thrive, because of governmental support in those countries. Start by moving Buick-Pontiac-GMC group entirely to Oshawa. If the U.S. wants to save Cadillac and Chevrolet, they will come running with bucket loads of cash. If not, then you still have a couple of aces in the hole yet to play.

      Chrysler should pack up and head north as well.

      Ford is recovering, but would fair much better if its operations were overseas or at least out of this country.

      Face it Detroit; you're kaput!
      • 6 Years Ago

      Why so much Bush bashing?
      • 6 Years Ago
      NO Uncle George don't do it.

      Down with GM (general mistake)
      • 6 Years Ago
      My thoughts exactly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Outta' the tank AB boyz!

      The market is down 35 points.

      No biggie!


      +1 on government is the problem (wait 4-more years).

      - and -

      Detroit (the big 2.8 AND the UAW) have to be lean to compete! If they'll go "into training" I am sure they could come out on the other side as "contendas."
      • 6 Years Ago
      So can I get some TARP money because I refuse to pay for my mortgage? As Cerberus is doing with Chrysler? I can see giving GM a bridge loan so that they haven have a structured bankruptcy in a few months but why in the hell is Chrysler getting anything. Our money could be used on a better energy infrastructure, roads, healthcare, anything else actually.

      Does anyone think it’s crazy that Chrysler will get tax payer money because their parent company refuses to give them money?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chrysler going under would cause a ripple effect that would send GM over the edge, and put Ford into a Chrysler-like position. It would also directly hit any other manufacturer doing business with Chrysler suppliers. Take that much volume out of a supplier, and it won't matter that x-company makes a better car. If their supplier shuts their doors, it sends everything into chaos.

        I wish Chrysler could just become independent.... Cerberus is turning out to be just as dangerous to Chrysler as Daimler was.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are we positive that the sharp drop in the index is due to the rejection of the automotive bailout bill and just the index's reaction to having Many Moore ring the opening bell?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't take money from the TARP! Who else is gonna pay for the caviar bar at the AIG Insurance Saturday Night Boogie Party this weekend?

        • 6 Years Ago
        Schreiber, who said I agreed with the video? I just said SteveRB's comment reminded me of it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Look, up in the sky ... is it a plane? No, it is President LameDuckBlockHead. He just realized the auto industry is important for our economy. As usual, our super hero being dragged into doing the right thing. Mission accomplished."

        You reminded me of the scene in Genesis' Land of Confusion music video that showed Reagan as Superman. He ended up falling asleep in front of the TV before he could actually get the job done and stop the bad guys.

        Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt6R6sTwsa4 It's at around 2:26. (Annotations aren't working for me.)

        At this point, I suppose they could update it by having Bush try to save the "damsels in distress" Wagoner, Nardelli and Mulally, but he gets bored and winds up Commissioner of Baseball.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Look, up in the sky ... is it a plane? No, it is President LameDuckBlockHead. He just realized the auto industry is important for our economy. As usual, our super hero being dragged into doing the right thing. Mission accomplished.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone else think the idiots on Wall Street are the real problem?
        • 6 Years Ago

        Wall Street is not the problem. That's just legalized gambling gone awry due to poor government oversight.

        Big banks aren't the problem either. That's just another form of legalized gambling gone awry due to poor government oversight.

        The auto companies aren't to blame for the current economic mess. It's poor government policies that caused the problem in the first place.

        Getting the message yet?

        The government established the rules by which everyone plays by. But the rules are inadequate to say the least.

        Ergo, the government is the problem. The government must change.
        But it hasn't.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Dow is only down less than 100 as I type this, which is just another day on Wall Street. I take that to mean the market feels the Bush administration will indeed fund the bailout from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund.

      I still can't understand why the Wall Street bailout was necessary to protect the economy while the relative pocket change to keep the automakers alive is beyond the pale to Congress. Yeah, you can justify it by saying the Republicans are fighting the unions, but surely they realize this issue has much bigger implications that whether they can take the UAW down a peg or two.

      Or maybe they were just smart enough to know Bush would fund it anyway through the $700B already authorized, so there was no need to take even more taxpayer money for a separate bill.
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